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After spending months and months constructing a seemingly perfect 5,000-character personal statement for PA school, it may seem daunting to update it. But, as a reapplicant, it is necessary. Your personal statement is unique to you and should express important parts of your PA school application journey, which may include the experience of being a reapplicant.

You have changed and grown since the previous application cycle and your essay should reflect this. Use the opportunity of a personal statement to express “Why PA” from your current perspective, which has shifted since you lasted applied. Although you may believe your personal statement was crafted perfectly, re-writing it is highly recommended.

The whole personal essay does not have to be completely different. It may still contain similar sentences and phrases but avoid simply copying and pasting entire paragraphs. You have experienced new patients, new scenarios, new things since you wrote your previous essay. Brainstorm how the past year or few months have further contributed to your desire to be accepted to PA school and become a PA. There is a reason that after being denied in one application cycle that you are persevering as a reapplicant. Communicate this passion!

If you believe that your personal statement was an area of weakness in your overall application, read through in in the perspective of an admissions committee member. What makes you stand out? What could have any other applicant wrote that is not unique to you? What lacks depth and specificity? Was the introduction paragraph enough to make you interested in the rest of the essay? Were all words chosen meticulously? Use prompts such as these to evaluate your essay and pick it apart. It will make for a better reapplicant essay.

Ask for help! Allowing others to read through and critique your essay is essential. This can be a school advisor, a PA you previously shadowed, a member of your college’s writing center, a family member, and, most importantly, a member of myPAresource. All personal statement editors who participate in revisions through myPAresource are certified physician assistants who have been extensively trained by current and former admissions panel members. They are well aware of what PA schools look for in personal statements and can provide crucial guidance on your essay.

As for the approach to upgrade your personal statement as a reapplicant, I suggest creating a plan! Pick one part of the essay to evaluate, revamp, completely delete, etc. each week. Once all paragraphs have been considered, brainstorm which additional paragraphs can benefit the overall picture you are tying to portray. After drafting these additional paragraphs, piece the whole essay together and you have a full rough draft! This is not the end though, just the beginning! Allow yourself to step away from the essay for a few days before revisiting it. This will give you a sharper perspective of the overall flow and tone of the essay. Read the essay out loud to yourself. What sentences are clear and precise, and which need some fine-tuning? Crafting a great personal statement takes great patience and effort.

Referencing how you have grown as a person and PA school applicant since the previous cycle is key. Explain what you have learned about yourself and learned about your goals over the past year. Convey how this time has prepared you for the rigors of PA school. I do not suggest dwelling on why you may not have been accepted in the previous cycle or any specifics about doubting your abilities. Use this space as a positive way to tell your story and enlighten the reader that you are an even better candidate for a spot in the PA program than you were before!